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Our society depends upon government agencies to look after and manage support programs for the homeless living on the streets. County social service agencies provide enough EBT food and cash benefits to eligible individuals to help sustain life, a few cities have offered access to empty lots to camp out, and a few cities have even spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build “tiny home” complexes to shelter minimal numbers in need. Obvious by their actions, government entities do not understand the homeless problem, and their attempts to fix the problem has only enabled street life, helping only the individuals who desire to stay on the streets.
To provide solutions to the homeless problem, we must first understand who these people are and then understand a single solution will not work. The homeless can be divided into three different classes:
Class 1: On the streets by negative circumstances. The lack of job skills and employment, drug and alcohol addiction, and the lack of or lose of family/friend support forces individuals and families to live on the streets. Once on the streets, the lack of resources and support makes it nearly impossible to recover to normal life.
Class 2: On the streets by physical and/or mental illness. These individuals that lack support often end up living on the streets. Society lacks the resources and support system to care for these people that causes worsening conditions and even death. Its common to see a combination of class 1 and class 2 individuals as street life is prolonged.
Class 3: On the streets by choice. These individuals enjoy the freedom of not having to work and expect other people to care for them. They do not respect the rights of others and can be defined as “bums”. These people mingle with class 1 and class 2 individuals and take the free ride on the backs of people in need. Many people in society look down on the homeless due to class 3 individuals and government agencies seem to prioritize aid to the homeless based on resistance to help class 3 mentality.
The only successful solution to the homeless problem is to provide shelter, food, and rehabilitation services to class 1 and 2 individuals as a gateway to normal life or acceptance to long-term programs, and to eliminate access to street life to class 3 individuals. The 1BED4ALL project has developed a self-sustainable homeless rehabilitation facility concept that would lift people-in-need off the streets onto a path to normal life. Class 3 individuals would be welcome to participate but many will reject such a facility’s structure and choose to leave. If the living on public streets and land became illegal, these people would be forced to leave the area or adapt to jail life. Such a solution would help people-in-need and earn the acceptance of society’s majority.